Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Sweet & Sour Meatballs costs less than half the amount of Chinese take-out and easily feeds a family of four. Best of all, you can control the ingredients making this a more healthful meal for your family.


A pinnable Pinterest image of sweet & Sour meatballs.

These meatballs are a little labor intensive but are well worth the extra effort. The flavor of the meatball alone is amazing but together with the homemade sweet and sour sauce is out of this world! This entire meal can still be put together in a very active 30 minutes or about 45 minutes if you’re a little more leisurely during the preparation. Yes, you could start with a pre-packaged meatball and a jarred sauce but the flavors will suffer immensely. Give it a try! I promise you will be glad that you devoted the extra time to it.

My daughter is a huge fan of meatballs so this dish was a must try for her and she loved it. We paired it with steamed rice but you could most certainly try a fried rice as well for a complete “take out” meal at home in less time than it takes for delivery!


Sweet & Sour Meatballs on a bed of rice

What’s great about this dish? It’s full of flavor but still, kid friendly. It costs less than half the cost of take-out and feeds a family of four with some leftover. Because we’ve made it at home, we can control the ingredients and keep this meal both Gluten Free and MSG free.



Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
Sweet & Sour Meatballs costs less than half the amount of Chinese take-out and easily feeds a family of four. Best of all, you can control the ingredients making this a more healthful meal for your family.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 servings
Calories 857 kcal


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs OR gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp house blend seasoning
  • 1 egg , beaten
  • 3 green onions , sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Chinese 5-spice
  • 1 tsp garlic , minced
  • 1 tsp , fresh ginger, minced OR ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp parsley , minced

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cup celery , thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper , cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 green bell pepper , cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup carrots , sliced thin
  • 1 (20 oz can) pineapple chunks, with juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water

Optional Garnishes:

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds toasted
  • 1/4 cup green onions sliced

Serving Suggestions:

  • 2 cups white rice steamed


  • If you are going to steam rice, start the rice per package instructions and amounts desired on now.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 425°F and cover a sheet pan [paid link] with aluminum foil.
  • Add the meatball ingredients into a medium sized bowl and combine well. Without overworking the meat (which makes a very dense meatball), form into meatballs about the size of a walnut; about 1 to 1.5-inches diameter transferring onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
  • In a small sauce pan, saute the carrots, celery and bell peppers until tender but still somewhat crispy; about 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the brown sugar, soy sauce, cider vinegar, pineapple chunks, reserved pineapple juice and 3 cups of water to the saucepan [paid link] and bring to a boil.
  • Mix the cornstarch with 1/4 cup water together and then pour it into the boiling sauce. Stir until thickened, reduce heat and continue cooking for 1 minute longer. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little water or pineapple juice to thin it out.
  • Add meatballs into the pan and stir to coat them with sauce and heat through.
  • Serve on steamed rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.


Calories: 857kcalCarbohydrates: 142gProtein: 33gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 3017mgPotassium: 1312mgFiber: 5gSugar: 44gVitamin A: 4425IUVitamin C: 70.8mgCalcium: 158mgIron: 4.7mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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